Visible and Not so Visible Mending

I had two pairs of socks that needed darning.  One was thinning and another had a few holes.  

After a stash leftovers dive I found a mock fair isle yarn in a turquoise and white colourway, and the white fair isle section ended up blending fairly well.  The turquoise part does stand out.  I reinforced the weak spots and patched the holes.  

I used a Spotlight moda vera yarn.  I have a pair of socks in another colourway that have held up pretty well.  These socks are a corton blend so they don’t felt at all, and the moda vera is super wash so it won’t felt either.  It is a sturdy yarn that will give a lot of wear.

The pink pair is a mosley park yarn and I am not to happy with how it has worn.   The dye has faded, almost to white in a few places, and this is second time I have darned them.  I do wear these on the carpet more than the others, and this was also just reinforcing before they wore through.  

I mended these with yorkshire spinners sock blend with 25% nylon.  This is a tougher yarn than merino so hopefully I will get a lot more wear out of them. 

I took a darning class with Tom of Holland in Shetland wool week two years ago and I enjoyed seeing my darning is greatly improved.  I enjoyed the class and remember thinking that it was quite ‘easy’ to do but difficult to do perfectly.  The idea of visibly mending instead of invisibly mending something takes the pressure off of repairing items in a way.  

This sent me down a visibke mending and then Boro pinterest wormhole.  Boro is a Japanese word that translates to tattered rags and refers to garments that are mended and handed down for generations and become made entirely from patches.  Unlike patchwork quilting where fabric it cut then resewn together, in boro garments are patched when they wear through and over time become covered in patches.  This touches on many aspects of culture from the value of goods to poverty and then what moved from womens work into works of art.  When Japan becone industrialized most of these garments were thrown out,  or they were downcycled into actual rags so only a few pieces remain that surface every so often. It makes my once patched socks look pristine and makes you wonder what worn out really is.

I found these repairs surprisingly zen for some reason.  Most of the time I put off repairs but this handwork hit the spot for me this week.

I also repaired some linen  tea towels that were a house warming gift.   The crochet edging came loose in one section and I practiced my blanket stitch in a verigated cotton twist.

This Week’s Makes – Pouch and Cushion

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After my big zipper stockpile a few weeks ago I decided I had better use some of them.  I used the Noodlehead wide open pouch (Noodlehead Wide Open Pouch link) as a base and cut it out a bit smaller because I only had an 8 inch zip.  The fabric is a moda spot (Reel time by Brigitte Heitland for Zen Chic for Moda, made in Japan, incredibly long name on selvedge) that I got on my UK travels with some 80% linen 20% cotton furnishing swatch from deep stash. 

I tucked the zip ends in to keep it neat but I need to work on that technique more.  Also metal zips increase the chance of needle breakage rather dramatically. 

Instead of folding the corners and then sewing them, I trimmed the corners first them squished and sewed them because it was too hard to get the corners right when the pouch is that tiny and there is a lot of fabric thickness and just stuff so close to the needle.  With the corners trimmed out you can just line up the cut edges without pinning too much.

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Trimmed out corners

This will be a new little notions bag for knitting.

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I made another cushion cover because I have had the inserts forever at this point.

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Totes invisible zip

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Whilst it might look like I have enough cushions now I still have a bolster to cover.

New Make – Umbrella Cushion

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I finished a cushion for my couch/nest that had been languishing for a while due to a very wierd zip from deep stash.  Unpicked the whole thing and reinserted a new invisible zip that i bought at Spotlight the other week during their spend $100 save $40.  I only need two zips but, you know, you have to spend the $100…

So I got two big spools of thread, $35 of assorted zips for I’ll figure that out later, and some light cotton to use as interlining on some linen in my stash.  I got 2 meters of grey and asked for four meters of black, but before she cut it i asked her to subtotal it and it only can to $97.  Four and a half meters?  $101.87 which became $61.81.

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Nailed it.

A successful trip to Spotlight.

Me Made May 2015

Hello everyone!

I did a silent Me Made May last year and this year I will be blogging about it.

I have a new camera and a new tripod set up so I can take photos each morning.  I’m still learing how to use the timer and if you hit the shutter a nanosecond too long it turns off the auto focus so there are a fair few of these shots

MMM outake

So here’s the round up

Day 1 Friday May 1st.  Tridpod not set up as I had just returned for a work trip.  I do have a uniform of sorts for work so that out fit will come round again soon enough

Day 2 Saturday May 2nd.  This is my Winter Saturday outfit.  It features my Hawthorn scarf and hat from Twist collective and is one of my favourite knits.  And coincidentally the one I always get complimented on.  I love the single ply yarn and the gentle colour variations.  Everyone seems to marvel how it stays perched on my head like that and the only answer I have is through the power of my mind.  It just sits there looking pretty.  It is also hard to photograph the back of your head fyi.

MMM Saturday 1

Sunday May 3rd.  I wore the same thing pretty much.  No retake just my favourite things

Monday May 4th.  Back to work.  Was quite tired and still figuring out how to work the camera and how to pose.  Black wool A line skirt for a vintage 70s pattern.  Bought top- hope to knit a replacement at some point as it is viscose and it is losing its spring.

MMM Monday 2

Tuesday May 5th.  TNT pencil skirt pattern- Macalls pencil skirt in five lenghts.  Had it forever and it  is the core of my work uniform.  Uniqlo jumper (bought three at once- hard to find nice fine knits in actual wool).  Silverbells Scarf made from Old Maiden Aunt Merino cashmere- a Secret Santa gift from Julie.  This is when I figured out something was wrong with the focus..

MMM Tuesday 3

Wednesday 6th May.  TNT pencil skirt in grey felt wool with Malabrigo yarn in Stellaria from Twist collective scarf.  The blues in the scarf are amazing and it is enormous and super fine.

MMM 4 Wed

Thursday May 7th.  TNT Red with Black tweed weave pencil skirt.

MMM 5 Thursday

Friday May 8th. TNT pencil skirt with self drafted waistband in a cotton canvas.  I saw this fabic at spotlight when they were having a sale (when are they not?) and just had to have a skit.  Bit silly but I love it. I can get this skirt out of one meter of fabric so that came to about $10.  Also wore my wool blue wrap coat.  I made this coat for my New York trip and sewed the hem on the plane.  It survived the super chill but my gloves did not.

MMM6 Friday MMM 6b Friday

Saturday May 9th.  Ysolda’s Follow your Arrow KAL in Morris and Sons Empire- a gift from Kate at Rosalind Aimes Craft supplies.  Big drapey and soft- good for a moderately cold day.

MMM 7 Saturday

On Sunday I rested.  In store bought clothes.  And edited the 200 photos I’d managed to take over the past week.

I don’t necessarily want a 100% me made wardr0be but I like to make thing that I can’t buy like my pencil skirts.  I have a deep sway back and large hips for my wait so store bought skirts just don’t fit or are made from weird synthetic fabrics you have to dry clean.  I have my work uniform which is pencil skirt and black jumper for the most part.  I don’t have to construct a new outfit each morning but I am aware of a few holes in my wardrobe.  I knitted a black scarf as I don’t seem to have many that match my rather wide skirt collection which should appear next week.

Bonus make!

I made proper bread!  I am fructose intolerant so I can’t have wheat but allegedly I can tolerate spelt sourdough.  So last week I made a start culture and on Friday night I started making my first sourdough loaf.  I have a bread maker but to ferment the sugars i can’t tolerate properly you have to let it rise properly.  I got my self 10kgs of Spelt Flour (wholemeal and white) as maintaining a culture take a lot of flour and I was expecting a few false starts

So Friday night I made the  ‘sponge’ and left it to ferment overnight.  It smells like beer.

breadmaking 1 Breadmaking 2 sponge

Saturday morning I kneaded the dough and left it for the first rise.  Mid afternoon I did the second rise and finally got it in the oven around six.

Bradmaking 4 pre second proving

Then this came out!

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A perfectly edible (albeit a very tough crust) spelt sourdough loaf.  Next time I will do the second proving in a loaf tin to try to get a loaf shape and take it out a bit earlier.  So far I  may have eaten more than was good for me (hopefully not!!!).  Its delicious and has a strong sourdough flavour.  Its probably a good thing I have run out of jam or the whole load would be gone!

Happy Me Made May!  Looking forward to seeing everyones makes!

That didn’t go according to plan

So last week I intended to spend my long weekend sewing.

I went off to my sewing group with my projects bagged up and set to work.

Waist band fitted on the pencil skirt- check

Black linen cut out- check

zip – no

lining- no

interfacing – no

huh.

When I say I bagged my projects I put what I had at hand in a bag and headed out. And Saturday was why I started the bags in the first place.

Anywho, I had another project.  Which was not the black checked dress.  I have some navy and white spotted abstract fabric from Clegg’s that I don’t want to ruin so I took some green and blue geometic print fabric from Joann’s for a wearable toile.  Read the instructions before cutting out (being organized and such) and realized the pockets for faux welts so had to draft actual pockets which took some fiddling.

View B New Look 6968

Also have no zip for this one either. Ahem.

Blue Green Geo dress

It was quite warm and my group has been infiltrated by a hipster who brought a cd (really?) of 80s music to listen to because she didn’t like the classical we had listened to last time.  I decided to call it a day and head home after three and a bit hours.

I sewed the darts and pockets which came out quite well.  I was felled by my new cheese grater after lunchtime on Monday- and after the potato peeler meet thumb incident last year you would think I didn’t like using my fingers at all.  I made some progress and will have to venture to the big box fabric store for suppliers next Sunday.

Geo dress on Dummy
Pinned to Jennifer II. Can you see the pockets?? No?? Yay for busy prints.

I also covered the giant tube I scavenged from work my for Amish swift.

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If you know how to bandage a fingertip properly please leave instructions in the comments.
If you know how to bandage a fingertip properly please leave instructions in the comments.

How can there be no black lining in here???

Full house.  Blue is sewing. Green is knitting.

Sewing To-Dos

I am trying to work on a way of planning my projects so that I don’t end up going two years with no black pencil skirt.  I threw the last one out when the zip went weird thinking that would prompt me into  making a replacement.  Which still hasn’t happened.

In my last flat sewing was difficult so not much got done.  I eventually found a sewing group that meets up one Saturday a month which has been great.

At some point I matched up my fabric and patterns and notions and popped them in these giant zip lock bags that I scored (they say patient’s own medications but who cares).  And there they sat.

I’ve made various projects over the intervening time but now, I think my style has (gasp) changed….

I loved vintage style dressed and they do really suit me but I can’t really wear them to work.  The Modern digi print fabrics I bought are not quite as on trend any more.

V8789, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress and CummerbundV1084, Misses' DressB5209, Misses' DressV1172, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress and Belt

I’ve hit the point in my sewing where I need basics.

Black pencil skirt- high waisted summer weight

Black pencil skirt- high waisted winter weight

Grey pencil skirt- summer weight

BLACK PANTS – It’s been three years.

Full house.  Blue is sewing. Green is knitting.
Full house. Blue is sewing. Green is knitting.

I totted off to office works and bought some full sticky backed post it notes (because the regular ones flick off an you can’t read them) for the back of my stash cupboard door and worked out my current projects and thing I just haven’t made yet for both sewing and knitting.

Then promptly sewed about four toiles for other items.

Apparently I’m not very good with to do lists.  I write them down and then just do whatever I feel like doing.

I am a choric project starter. I was prep projects neatly in bags, I will cut fabric out and then maybe sew it up.

During my break I actually three out three unfinished projects.  One dress I hemmed and donated- the fit was off and I was over the dress.  A jacket where the neck was funny and I was unpicking it to resew then I realised I didn’t want it any more got binned.  A cotton top that did not suit me and was just a waste of really nice fabric. It was quite cathartic.  I know there are more in the cupboard but I need to resort the whole thing.  I decided I might as well make the projects from the fabric at the top of the pile first.  Not sure why.

Not that I’ve started anything else. I’m back at work now with more limited time.  Over my break I spent a lot of time working out my flat.  I moved in a year ago an things got crazy with work.  When I figured out how things needed to be I didn’t have time to deal with them.

This had to be dealt with
This had to be dealt with
Ta- Da!
Ta- Da!

After all of that work I just did something fun.  A little knitting project bag, then I toiled two tops that I had been meaning to sew for a while.  I really nailed the fit on one top and then decided the fabric didn’t suit it.  I don’t want to hoard this faric for a future perfect pattern and hope to use it soon.

I’m planning a big OS shopping trip and I want to use up what I’ve got first.  There needs to be space in the stash cupboard.

I tried to scedule sewing time throughout lat year but it just didn’t happen.  I travel a lot for work so dedicating a night to sewing a week is difficult as I don’t know what travel will shoot a hole in my week.  Now that things have been sorted out in my flat it should be easier to begin sewing rather than clearing space and getting things out.

I will try to dedicate any public holidays to sewing- Starting with Australia Day next Monday.    With my sewing group on Saturday I hope to finish the toile of the pencil skirt pattern and cut it out in the black linen from my last shopping trip and cut out the black and whit sort of check in  Vogue V8615 which looks quite good with shorter sleeves. It’s a remake- the last fabric, a stretch cotton, lost its stretch.

V8615, Misses' Dress

I wore the last one a lot.  Once the black pencil skirt is done, I can wear some more tops from my wardrobe again.  then black pants, then, I can make tops to wear with them.

Sounds like a plan –  Now for the action…

Almost There!

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So I finally finished listening to the book of doom and then moved on to something completely different- a Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.  The narrator’s toffy accent was a little off putting and the beginning was a little slow as it turns out (not to brag) I knew/was familiar with most of the science in the first section and got bored when it seemed to descend in reading out numbers for a while.  The chapters on 18th century Geology (gentlemen in top hats and even academic robes marauding the English countryside taking measurements) was a lot more entertaining.

 

I’m thinking of starting the Outlander series after reading some good reviews.  I (gasp) lost interest in Game of Thrones early in season 2 and now that season 5 is a full male writer/director escapade and they wrote out a female character entirely and gave her territorial ambitions to her brother I may  give up on that entirely.

 

I’m up to the edging on the Fireside shawl and hope to finish that off at next Monday’s knit night.

 

Still progressing through Collapse – its 600+ pages so it will be here for a little longer.  Thinking forward to my next book and may try the 2014 Stella Prize winner The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (http://thestellaprize.com.au/the-stella-prize/2014-2/).  It goes through the Eureka Stockade – the founding of the Australian labour rights and union movement where goldminers rebelled against government regulations- which is traditionally seen as a predominately male enterprise of male miners but actually took place in a civilized town with ads in the newspaper for dances, childcare, and baby clothes.  Wright discovered that one woman in fact died during the stockade along with the 20 miners and 4 soldiers which she discovered in a local person’ diary.  Despite the “low’ death toll this woman was unnoticed by the historians of the time and for the next 100 years.  I lived in the US during my high school years awhile I did very well in AP US History (A average- my teacher Mr Huckaby would rile the other student because the non American student had the highest grade in the class) I never studied that much Australian history so this could be a good catch up.

Hopefully something new on the needles next week!

Head over to Ginny’s blog to see what everyone is knitting and reading this week

 

I don’t love you. Please hurry up.

So not a lot has changed for this week’s yarnalong expect my audiobook has gone down hill.

I’m not one to believe in love at first sight to the point of running away and making declaration of love after two days however both characters are madly in love, with the wrong people of course.

I read another book by Beatriz William where it was also two stories: one modern day woman discovering the previously secret life of another 50 years earlier.  In Sapphire Skies the character both fell for men they worked with or were social with after a little while and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  In the Secret Life of Violet Grant it’s love at first sight no matter what and must be frequently discussed EARNESTLY.

The problem here is that every five minutes we’re having a conversation of But I love you you have to trust me I’m in love with you how can you I’m in love with you and I’m OVER IT.  PLOT ACTION  PLEASE.  This is a 14 hour audio book.  Violet and her man are ON THE RUN from German secret agents at the out break of WW1 and they stop three times in 20 minutes to hash it out and shag.  I have a 20  minute commute so I know it isn’t that far between drinks so to speak.  A run for the  border has never been so tedious.  And don’t get me started on Vivienne.  When she goes to England and the bad English accents start I was wishing I had chosen a book like Sharon did here which makes no pretense to substance.  1.5 hours to go.

Shawl is progressing.  I’m a monogamous knitter so the title does refer to the book not the shawl. I have a Crafternoon on Saturday so hopefully I will be able to start the border at least then.  If I start something else I tend to just keep starting things.  I have three years’ of sewing WIPs and three ready to go kitting projects.  I  did start a different shawl for my recent flight to Brisbane as i didn’t want to carry two giant 200gm Bendigo balls of yarn with me.

shawl

I am enjoying much more the book about how people drive themselves to extinction.  Perhaps that says more about me than I like.  But really, the mystery of why the Greenland Norse didn’t eat the abundant fish and instead raise cattle, sheep and goats with minimal food during winter is less of a mystery then why those miserable people won’t just get over themselves and RUN FOR THE BORDER.

Ginny’s Yarnalong

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I’ve decided to join the yarnalong bandwagon with two other Richmond Knitters, Sharon and Sonia.

This week I am knitting the Firewood Shawl from PomPom mag issue 5 in two shades of Bendigo Boutique Haze- Merino and Mohair blend. I’m only using two colours and and it knitting up beautifully. I had to rewrite the pattern the make sure there was a ridge on both increases. Hard to describe unless you were knitting it up and wondering why the pattern seemed wrong.

PomPom mag is a relatively new magazine that I do quite enjoy but they seem to take short cuts in writing out the patterns so that can fit everything in neatly. I’m on the fence about buying another issue or pattern.

I’m listening to the Secret Life of Violet Grant. This one has the usual weird narrator voices but the young women trying to do a 50 year old man from 1910 is a bit strange, especially as he calls his 19 year old student/lover “Child” exclusivity. I do find that character overall creepy and find myself making faces at the car radio as I am driving to and from work. It’s a compelling story but some scenes seem drawn out but for a 14 hour audiobook there was bound to be some down time.

I’m reading Jarred Diamond’s Collapse before bed. Reading about how various societies’ inadvertently drove themselves to extinction probably isn’t the most relaxing bedtime reading but I am enjoying it and finding it interesting especially in light of this recent article from the guardian about the forecasts in a 1970s book about unchecked growth driving the word to extinction were proving to be true (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse). I tend to read and listen to a lot of non fiction, and had to really make myself find a good story for my latest audiobook.

I’m enjoying all three at the moment.  Head over to Ginny’s blog to see what everyone else is up to

 

Just In Time Cowl

 

I bought a hank of Cascade Magnum in Knitty City during my New York holiday and knitted it up soon after I got back during a Melbourne heat wave in March as a respite from a 4ply cardigan. It was a quick knit on 10mm needles in moss stitch but it languished in the cupboard awaiting a Kitchener join.

My sewing and knitting projects have run behind schedule lately so after a week of Arctic temperatures (thank you Melbourne autumn really looking forward to winter) I dug it out and took to to my parents where I was going to spend the night, and (this is the key) did not bring a scarf to wear the next day.

Ta da one finished project. iPad photo does not do it justice but it is cosy warm!

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The loose yarn started splitting when I pulled it too sharply which was a shame as I had knitted to the end of the yarn. It should be fine.

Melbourne has notoriously fickle and dreary weather (four seasons in one day or just cold and wet) but it wasn’t until I was in NY that I understood why there are so many patters for jumpers in 10ply. I have never been so cold in my life. I was wearing two scarves – one cowl in super chunky Soft Rope and another panic purchase from Uniqlo that I would wrap tightly around my face and pull up and down over my face as we went in and out of places. I walked into Saks looking like I was going to rob the place. Mum and I just relieved the Clinique and Estée counter of as many samples as we could.

Me at Knitty City

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It was so cold I took to taking a tea around with me first thing to help add just to the below freezing temperatures. Mum wanted a photo of her under the temperature gauge near Rockefeller center so I took a few trying to get the 16 degree, not the time, while holding my empty take away cup

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The wet tea bag string froze.

There are several photos of me like this

Rockerfeller tour

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Rockerfeller Top of the Rock

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I wore that outfit for the whole week. Hand knitted hat, hand knitted cowl, black uniqlo scarf, hand made coat (yup was totally sewing the hem on the flight out but anywho), now worn out lambswool lined leather gloves, jeans, and knee high boots with emergency purchase socks. The anklets weren’t cutting it!